Supporting Survivors, Prosecuting Perpetrators

SURF applauds the decision of the UK Government to amend legislation to allow the prosecution of suspected genocidaires from Rwanda resident in the UK. The loophole in current legislation was higlighted by Fergal Keane, in a BBC report in 2006, and through lobbying from Justice, Redress and the Aegis Trust it is hoped that justice will be served for survivors of the genocide, by ensuring that perpetrators who have sought sanctuary in the UK finally stand trial.

Survivors continue to campaign for retributive justice, however where that is not possible then SURF supports their call for restorative justice. On Sunday, SURF is hosting a Reading of the Testimonies at Whitechapel Gallery in London to mark the 15th Anniversary of the end of the genocide. Though many years have passed since the events that resulted in the killing of one million Tutsis and Tutsi-sympathisers, survivors continue to deal with the consequences of genocide largely without international support.

We are hoping that supporters will join us to read a testimony of a survivor of the Rwandan genocide, in a unique event to raise awareness of the situation of survivors in Rwanda today and as a call to action to the United Nations General Assembly to honour its resolution to provide greater support to survivors.

The importance of justice for survivors is explained in an interview on the BBC Today Programme with Lord Malloch Brown, who resigned yesterday as Minister for Africa, Asia and the UN. His support for survivors in that postition has been important too.

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